Regular teeth cleanings are essential part of your overall oral health. While homecare such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly are critical, only your dentist can catch certain issues before they develop into something significant. Teeth cleanings are designed to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, which can cause cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. By visiting your dentist consistently, you’ll protect the health of your teeth and gums, keeping your smile bright.
Why Teeth Cleanings Are Necessary
Are teeth cleanings necessary? The short answer is yes. Teeth cleanings help prevent the development of cavities and gum disease. Over time, plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth, and the most stringent home-hygiene routines are not one hundred percent effective in preventing this accumulation. Some issues that may result without regular cleanings include:
- Tooth decay
- Bad breath
Without consistent cleanings, you might find that small issues like swollen gums or tooth pain may develop. These issues can lead to more serious problems that require procedures like root canals.
How often should you see your dentist for a cleaning? Every six months is the standard recommendation, but your dentist might recommend that you come in more frequently, such as once a quarter, if there are recurring issues that you’re trying to correct.
What to Expect During a Cleaning
Your teeth cleaning will begin with a review of your oral health history. Your dentist might look at your X-rays and will note any changes since your last appointment.
Next, your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam of your mouth, looking for signs of decay or gum disease. If you are experiencing any oral health issues, this is the time to discuss them. Your dentist will review treatment options and make recommendations.
After which, your dentist or hygienist will perform your cleaning: polishing your teeth and removing tartar. A trained dental professional will use a scaler to remove any plaque or hardened tartar. Then, using gritty toothpaste and a special high-powered brush, they will deep clean your teeth. The final steps involve carefully flossing between the teeth, rinsing with liquid fluoride, and applying a fluoride treatment. This treatment protects your teeth and can actually help reverse the damage caused by plaque. This is one reason it is recommended to use a toothpaste containing fluoride between cleanings.
Your dentist will wrap up your appointment by instructing you on how to properly brush and floss at home. This is essential for maintaining your oral health between cleanings. They will also let you know when they recommend coming in next so that they can keep track of your oral health progress.
If you’re feeling a little anxious about your upcoming teeth cleaning, don’t worry—your dentist and their entire team are experienced in making patients feel comfortable and relaxed.
Schedule Your Next Cleaning at Columbia Smiles
At Columbia Smiles, you’ll find an experienced team of dentists and hygienists as well as a welcoming, comfortable environment. You’ll quickly discover that we’re dedicated to helping our patients feel at ease during their appointments and that we use cutting-edge technology to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
We offer everything from cosmetic dentistry services like teeth whitening and dental veneers to cleanings and exams. The Columbia Smiles team, led by Dr. Michael Hsu, is here to help your whole family and to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 410.690.4855 or reach out online to schedule an appointment.